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20 Expert Tips for Disneyland Halloween Time in October [2019]

If you’re planning to visit Disneyland in October, you need to know some important things about the Disneyland Halloween season. I highly recommend you read over these tips before your visit!

Disneyland Halloween Main Street Pumpkin
Main Street Pumpkin at Disneyland

We visited Disneyland Halloween Time as guests of Alaska Airlines and the Disneyland Resort. We flew aboard their new Disney plane, Friendship and Beyond. If you’re flying to the Disneyland Resort on Alaska, you might get lucky and fly on one of their six Disney themed planes!

And if you’re still looking to buy tickets or book a hotel for your trip, check out my partner Get Away Today. They’re an authorized Disney agent have amazing deals on tickets and packages, including joint tickets if you’re visiting other attractions near Disneyland. Use the promo code StuffedSuitcase to save $10 on your vacation package.

When does Disneyland Decorate for Halloween (2019)

Overnight the Disney parks will transform for the Halloween Time holiday. For 2019, Disneyland Halloween lasts from September 6 to October 31, 2019. During this time, you’ll see Halloween decorations around the parks and unique ride overlays and entertainment options.

Halloween Party vs Halloween Time – Don’t Get Confused!

This biggest mistake that visitors make when visiting Disneyland in October is not understanding the difference between Halloween Time and the extra ticketed Halloween Party. Halloween Time attractions and entertainment occur during the whole season for all park guests. But, some special entertainment is only available for guests of the Oogie Boogie Bash party which occur on only 20 specific nights.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is a special ticketed event that occurs on various Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in September and October. The party dates for 2019 are September 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, October 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, and 31st.

These parties are very popular and sell out far in advance. If you are not able to obtain tickets online and are staying onsite you can try to see if the hotel happens to have any extra tickets available for hotel guests. Tickets will cost $110-$145 with the prices more expensive on Sundays and closer towards Halloween.

What are the crowds like at Disneyland in October?

Halloween Time at Disneyland is very popular, so be sure to read my Disneyland tips to help you handle crowds and read my FASTPASS and MaxPASS guide to avoid long ride wait times.

Quite a few Utah and Arizona schools have fall breaks during October which causes an increase in visitors, plus Disneyland has a large number of local annual passholders who love to visit the parks during the seasonal celebrations.

If you have limited time in the parks you might want to splurge for staying at an onsite hotel since the Extra Magic Hour early entry can allow you to ride a few of the most popular attractions with low wait times.

crowds at disneyland in october
Crowds at Disneyland in October

Wearing Costumes at Disneyland

Adults are not allowed to wear costumes at Disneyland EXCEPT during the Oogie Boogie Bash party. This is the one time of the year when adults can have fun along with the kids and dress up as their favorite characters.

There are a few rules, you can’t cover your face, can’t have a weapon, your costume can’t be too large and can’t drag on the ground, you also can’t pose for photos or sign autograph books. See the full costume rules (in the Know Before You Go section).

Special Attractions & Entertainment During Disneyland Halloween

The parks are decorated for Halloween, including lots of décor and pumpkins on display on Main Street, USA. But beyond the décor, a few special attractions and shows are revamped for the Halloween season in October.

Cars Land (Disney California Adventure Park)

One of the best places to get in the Halloween spirit in the parks is at Cars Land, named Radiator Screams! The whole land is decorated and other than Main Street, it’s the best immersive experience for the Halloween holiday in my opinion. You’ll find lots of unique touches around the land including a Creepy, Crawly Cruiser at Flo’s V8 Café, Ghostly Traffic Cones at the Cozy Cone Café, and 30 car-themed spiders lurking around the land.

Two of the land’s rides get overlays for the season, with themed décor and special music. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween.

You’ll also want to grab a photo with your favorite Cars characters who dress up for the holidays. Mater becomes a “van-pire”, and Cruz Ramirez dresses up as a pirate. You can also indulge on some great Halloween food in the land like a Pumpkin Spice Milkshake at Flo’s V* Café, and a Slow-Burnin’ Mac n’ Cheese Cone at the Spooky Cozy Cone Café.

Cozy Cone Motel during Halloween at Disneyland
Meet Cars characters and get halloween food a the Cozy Cone Motel in Radiator Screams.

Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney California Adventure Park)

If you haven’t been to Disneyland in a while you might not know that Tower of Terror was remade into a new Guardians of the Galaxy ride a few years ago. During Halloween Time that attraction has a special overlay — Monsters After Dark. This is a special ride experience and storyline that only runs during the evenings. So, you could ride Guardians of the Galaxy during the daytime and come back to ride at night for a totally different experience.

Plaza de la Familia (Disney California Adventure Park)

In the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure Park (by Goofy’s Sky School and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure) guests can enjoy a celebration of the Disney-Pixar film Coco, that is inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. There’s a musical show sharing the story of Coco, and the Mariachi Divas put on an authentic Mexican musical show.

plaza de la familia at california adventure disneyland
Plaza de la Familia display at California Adventure.

Haunted Mansion Holiday (Disneyland Park)

This is probably one of the most popular themed overlays for the season and actually stays in place through the Disneyland Christmas holiday season.

Jack Skellington dresses up as “Sandy Claws” takes over this classic ride along with his dog Zero. One of the special features is the giant gingerbread house that is featured in the hall with the dancing ghosts. It’s specially made every year, this year it’s celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion ride.

Halloween Screams Fireworks (Disneyland Park)

This special Halloween fireworks show used to only be shown during the Halloween party nights, however this year it’s available for all park guests on select nights. Jack Skellington plays host as the “Master of Scare-omonies” and invites some of Disney’s notable villains to make an appearance.

A tip is to make sure you can see the top left of the castle – that’s where Jack appears. If your viewing point doesn’t have a line of sight for that area you may miss a bit of the cohesive story of the show. There are also castle projections that are pretty amazing, so it’s more than just fireworks.

halloween screams fireworks show
Halloween Screams Fireworks show. Photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Happiest Haunts Tour

This is a special tour offered daily during the Halloween season at Disneyland. It’s an added fee, $99 per person for 2019, and requires park admission.

The tour lasts around 2.5 hours and walks you around the parks sharing stories about the history of Halloween and Halloween touches around the parks. You’ll also get a seasonal treat to eat during the tour, a commemorative pin, and a special opportunity to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Halloween Food at Disneyland

Disneyland goes crazy about holiday-themed food, and Halloween Time has too many themed snacks and treats for me to list here. Just know that you’ll find amazing holiday churros, special popcorn buckets, pumpkin spice beignets, a Hades hot dog, and even a poison apple-tini.

Find the entire list of treats on this Disneyland post. You can also pick up a guide pamphlet at the turnstiles with the full list to guide you on your culinary journey.

halloween popcorn bucket
Oogie Boogie popcorn bucket at Disneyland.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party

This is a special extra ticketed event that occurs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights through the Halloween season. The parties normally start mid-September and go until Halloween. You MUST buy an additional ticket to attend the party and tickets sell out quickly.

My biggest tip about the Halloween party at Disneyland is that you likely won’t be able to do it all. You’ll need to prioritize what you’re most interested in doing and seeing. I recommend trying to do a treat trail, meet a character, go on a ride (if you want), and watch the entertainment. I think the shows are what is most unique about these parties, so that’s what I recommend focusing on. If you go in thinking the parks will be empty and you’ll do it all then you’re going to be very disappointed.

On party nights Disney California Adventure Park will close early, so make sure you’re aware of that if you’re not attending the party.

Early Park Entry for Oogie Boogie Bash Guests

One of the perks that party guests should utilize is early park party admission. The parties begin at 6 pm, however, your ticket allows you to enter the parks 3 hours early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 4 hours early on Sundays.

This is a great way to maximize park time and save on adding another day to a multiday park ticket. You can enter at 3 pm (2pm on Sundays) and stay until the party ends at 11 pm. Your party ticket gives you park admission during that time, so you don’t have to use a park ticket for entrance. So, if you have a two-day ticket, you can buy the party ticket and actually get about 2.5 days in the parks.

Guests will be given wristbands and once the party starts (6 pm) any regular park guests without wristbands will be directed to the park exit and not allowed entry to attractions and pathways.

Trick or Treating Treat Trails

When we attended the party a few years ago my girls were all about trick-or-treating. We spent so much time waiting in lines to get candy that we could have probably bought for cheap at Target. I really wish we had used our time more efficiently and packed some candy to fill our girls’ bags so they would have perhaps found more interest in some of the other party activities.

I will say that this year they seem to have made the treat trails more of visual experience and some even have live villains putting on a show along the treat trail.

oogie boogie treat trail disneyland halloween party
Villians on Treat Trails at the Oogie Boogie Party. Photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Be sure to pack a larger treat bag if you think you’ll do the treat trails. You’re given a very small treat bag when you arrive, however it doesn’t hold very many treats. If you have a backpack for the parks, then you can empty the treat bag into the backpack a few times during the evening. Another tip would be to avoid the treat trails until the very end of the evening, lines will be shorter, and you won’t have to haul all that candy around on your back all night.

I love that Disney makes special arrangements for guests with food allergies and offers allergy-friendly treats upon request.

Character Meet n Greets

As you wander through the parks during the party, you’ll see a few unique Disney characters ready for photo ops and signatures. This includes some of the very popular villains. This is one thing that draws crazy long lines, so try and research in advance which character you most want a photo with and head there just before the party starts.

World of Color Villainous! Show

This is brand new for 2019 and explains how they were able to make the Halloween Screams fireworks available for all guests, whereas it used to only be for party guests. The World of Color Villainous Show is only available for party guests. This show follows a little girl as she tries to decide what to be for Halloween. Some infamous villains make an appearance and help her decide.

New world of color show Villainous
New World of Color show just for Oogie Boogie Party guests. Photo credit: Richard Harbaugh /Disneyland Resort

Frightfully Fun Parade

Disney Parks parades are a must see in my opinion. Especially if you have young kids. They are a fabulous way to see some of your favorite characters and watch some fun choreographed dance routines. The Frightfully Fun Parade is only available to guests of the Oogie Boogie Bash party. During this parade, you’ll see some of the most popular villains from Disney movies.

Oogie Boogie Bash Dining Package

If you want to have reserved viewing for the Frightfully Fun Parade, you can book a dining package at the Wine Country Trattoria. The cost is $50 for adults, $40 for kids, and includes a 3-course meal and access to a reserved viewing area along the parade route.

jack and sally at disneyland halloween parade
Frightfully Fun Parade. Photo credit: Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

Mickey’s Trick or Treat Show

This is a great show for families with young kids. It’s a stage show in the same theater where Disney Junior takes place and gives kids a chance to see Mickey and his friends in costume and have a dance party. Kids will also get some candy.

DescenDANCE

This is another dance party opportunity, definitely targeted towards the tweens and teens in the family that love the Descendants movies.

Villains Grove

This is a new feature that sounds kind of cool. It’s a spooky walk through the Redwood Creek Challenge area where you’ll see some villainous touches and sounds along the way. I think it’s supposed to feel like a story of entering a spooky forest but finding your way out just in time.

Photos to Capture at Disneyland Halloween Time

One of the most classic photos I highly recommend is at the start of Main Street in front of the big Mickey pumpkin. Sure, there will be a line, but it moves fairly fast and will make for a unique memory for years to come. Be sure to check out this list of other fun photos to take.

family photo at disneyland in october
I love having photos of when my girls were little!

And don’t miss the special Halloween touches that are found throughout Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotels.

Don’t forget to book your Disneyland vacation with my partner, Get Away Today! They have great prices on tickets and hotels, and you can save $10 on a package if you use the promo code StuffedSuitcase!

Check out my other Disneyland posts:

How Much Does a Disneyland Vacation Cost?

Ultimate Disneyland Guide & My Best Disneyland Tips

One Week Southern California Itinerary + Disneyland

halloween at disneyland tips
First-timers guide for visiting Disneyland Halloween Time
disneyland in october
What to know about Disneyland Halloween

Get My Best Travel Planning Tips & Worksheets!

Comments

  1. Laura @ The Experimental Home says

    My husband and I went to the Halloween party at Disney World a couple years ago. It was amazing. While all the families were getting candy and stuff, we got to ride all the rides over and over with practically no line! Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays!

    • Kim says

      Hi Laura! I was trying to talk my girls into going on some of the rides, but they were all about the candy! We limit candy in our house so for them it was just too exciting to get bags full of the stuff. We spent multiple days as Disneyland so for them the rides were something they could do anytime, but finding the treat trails was a great adventure.

  2. Amber says

    Do you recommend a day that is less crowded than others? We are annual pass holders but we usually can’t afford the added price on top of it and I think we might make it this year :D But we really hate the crowds and generally check the “crowd calendars” before planning trips.

    If you have time, please come link up at The Blog Strut! We would love to have you there.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Amber
    My Personal Accent

    • Kim says

      Hi Amber! I also am not a fan of crowds. I just looked and it appears almost all of the advance purchase tickets have sold out. Only the 28th, 30th, and 31st are still available. I’m not really sure about the remaining dates, but would probably pick the 28th (Monday). Not that the dates are available, but I would also avoid the utah fall break dates of oct 13-20.

  3. Kriss MacDonald says

    Had no idea they put on special Halloween events at Disney. We’re hoping to take the kids there in next year or two so it’s good to know this might be a fun time to visit as well.
    #magicmoments

    • Kim says

      Hi Kriss, thanks for stopping by. Disney does a great job of making a big deal of Halloween and Christmas time. I recommend you find a way to experience the parks during both of those special seasons!

  4. Tami Von Zalez says

    I was there last year and had so – much – fun! The decorations were EVERYWHERE, every nook and cranny. I stayed at the Disneyland Resort, just walking distance from the parks.

    Popped by from SITS Girls Throwback Thursday.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

    • Kim says

      Hi Tami! They really do go all out with the decorations. Really makes the whole atmosphere of Halloween come to life. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Mata Davie says

    We are from New Zealand and my husband and I did Disneyland during Halloween in 2012 and cannot wait to go back next year (2015) with our three children who will be 8,11 and 16, it was great to read about the Mickey party as we didn’t do it last time but will be doing it next time for sure, in fact we have timed our trip to the USA so that we can be be there to did Disneyland during Halloween again.

    • Kimberly says

      Halloween time is a really fun time to visit the parks. Hope you have a wonderful trip! Feel free to let me know if anything is new or different after your 2015 trip, Mata!

  6. Stephanie says

    Thank you for this post! We are going October 2015 with a 3 and 5 year old! They will LOVE this! Do you know how early you can purchase tickets to the Halloween party? We are going to be booking out trip as soon as the dates open up, so I want to be on top of it for this too! Also, you said “This is a good way to save buying an extra day on your ticket (parkhopper) and still enjoy the parks.” Do you know if this can be used for a day that we aren’t planning on having a ticket for? For example, we are flying in on Friday and buying single park tickets for Sat, Sun, and Mon, could this be used for Friday night?

    Again, thank you so much!

    • Kimberly says

      Hi Stephanie! Yes, that’s exactly correct – however don’t expect your time in the park to be spent in the normal touring mode. You’ll be participating in the party activities more than riding rides. You are able to enter the park earlier than the party begins, in previous years it was 3 hours before the party starts. That’s how you could capitalize on getting some extra park time without having a park ticket for the day. Make sense?

  7. Joni Jacobs Hamilton says

    We took my 12 year-old son to Disneyland for Halloween when he was in kindergarten. We were actually there on Halloween and attended the Halloweentime party which was held in DCA at that time. I couldn’t have asked for a more magical experience. We stayed in the Grand Californian, and they had a costume fashion show for the kids. It was so much fum. The park was amazing; I vividly remember the candy corn gardens and the live, talking scarecrows! We stayed until the park closed, and my husband had to carry our sleeping son in his Davy Jones costume back to the hotel on his shoulders. I always encourage people to try the Halloweentime party because I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day.

    • Kimberly says

      Sounds like you guys had a fabulous time there! I just love those moments of delight and great family memories that can be found during vacations!

  8. Rosita says

    Wonderful tips! I am so exited, after saving for what seemed like forever, I am finally able to take my daughters (12/10) to Disneyland in October : ) We chose October because it is my birthday but also based on all the great reviews for that time of year. My question is, I have gotten us the 3 day park hopper tickets and as soon as they go on sale I will be getting a MHP ticket, I was wondering do you think it would be better to use it on the Friday night we land or to use it to extend our time on a week night?
    Thank you : )

    • Kimberly says

      So excited for you Rosita! The weekend parties are typically more busy and cost a bit more than the weekday parties (at least when I last looked). Those might be good reasons to attend on a a week night instead. If you have the extra time, I’d probably have dinner in DTD on Friday night and save the MHP for another day. Also depending on when you land and any possible chances of airline delays, you might not want the stress of getting to the party early/on-time.

  9. Gina says

    Hi there we are planning to go the beginning of Oct this year. Do u know what the lines will be like on a Wed. Night (How crowded). I believe the date is oct 8th. Does the beginning of the month sell out quicker do you know?

    • Kimberly says

      Hi Gina, from what I’ve always heard the end of the month gets busier. However, there are some fall school breaks in Utah and Arizona that bring in some good crowds at the beginning/middle of October. I think you’re doing well by choosing a weeknight instead of weekend, but can’t really tell you what the crowds will be like. It also depends on what people consider crowded as we all have our own reasoning. Based on what I know and would estimate from my own experience, I think October 8th sounds like a great pick.

  10. Cristen says

    We are planning on staying at Dland for one night of our CA trip and just discovered one of the parties is that night. Great for us, so we can take advantage of the price break since we fly in that day. That said, we have a 2 & 4 year old and have no idea how long they will make it with the time change!!! Do you remember at what time the fireworks started? Thats the one thing my husband would like to see!! Also, are we able to ride the fantasy land rides during the party?

    Thanks for all the info!!

    • Kimberly says

      Hi Cristen! I believe the fireworks started around 930 or 10. I know my youngest didn’t make it to see them, she fell asleep once we parked in our spot. I think most rides are open including those in Fantasyland, but I’m not sure if there were certain ones that were closed. Sorry I can’t be a bit more exact, but hopefully this is a little helpful. :)

  11. Elizabeth says

    I love the fall at Disneyland! It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been, but I’m looking at going this October – can you remind me – do you have to have park admission IN ADDITION to the party ticket? Or is the party ticket enough?

    • Kimberly says

      Hi Elizabeth! The party ticket is all you need to gain admission for the party and you are allowed to enter the parks 3-4 hours before the party start time. So I believe we had a 7 pm party and could enter beginning at 3 pm (but I could be an hour off either way). So, if you want a full day at the park you’ll need to have a ticket, but if you’re happy just having a few hours before the party then the actual party time you just need the party ticket. Hope that helps!

  12. DJ says

    We’ve been to both Halloween parties, in DL and WDW. Three tid-bits I would add here are

    1) Candy is cheap mass produced junk, pass up these lines and wait until the end of the evening, as “extra” candy is usually handed out, along with bags, on one side of the park exit, just keep an eye out for it.

    2) If you really want a picture taken with one of the character’s in full Halloween gear, be prepared for LONG lines, and bring your patience, “main” characters are VERY popular, and if you are lucky you might be able to get 2 snapshots of different character before the lines too long and are shut down. Lesser characters, like Jessie from Toy Story, hidden in the BBQ ranch restaurant area at DL, last year anyway, are easy to walk up to after the original mass rush.

    3) Make time to catch the Halloween parade!! This is a special parade only shown during this special event! Same goes for the seasonal fireworks! Also, look around for the special event treats, sold at different locations throughout the park, they can be in drinks, snacks, or dessert form.

    Lastly, DRESS UP, yes, even you adults!! Embrace the moment, it’s a lot of great fun when you are in a costume as an entire family!!! In my opinion, next to Christmas this is the BEST time of year to be in the parks!!

    • Kimberly says

      All great thoughts DJ! I wish I would have been better prepared for the candy temptation so I could have purchased some candy beforehand to give to the kids and have them enjoy more of the event. They loved searching for the candy trails though. The dance parties are also fun!

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